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Opinions of Tuesday, 31 January 2017

Columnist: Raly Ewemie

That little boy

Raly Ewemie Raly Ewemie

My, my, my how we can grow in faith when we read Holy Scripture, I mean to say really pray and ponder God’s Word. We increase our knowledge and awareness of our Lord’s love for us and we deepen our personal relationship with Him.

By example, let’s take one of the great miracles of Jesus, The Multiplication of The Loaves as most of us are familiar with it. It’s very interesting this event is recorded in all four Gospels and although each account is different, it can be boiled down to one statement of fact: Jesus transformed five barley loaves and a couple of dried fish into a feast for over five thousand souls and there were twelve baskets of leftovers!

I could go on and on sharing with you the many messages there are in this passage when we soak up the story and allow its fullness penetrate our hearts, minds, and spirits. Today, let us focus on John 6:1-13 and one of the powerful insights of this story, That Little Boy.

I imagine Jesus thinking, “I have such compassion for all of these people; I can’t let them go without feeding them.” Jesus thoughts and feelings were turned into action. He so simply asked Philip, one of His dear friends, one of His disciples, “Where shall we buy bread for these people to eat?” Jesus questions. Jesus challenges. He still does that today with us, his close friends, doesn’t He? Philip states the obvious, exclaiming, “Not even with two hundred days’ wages could we buy loaves enough to give each or them a mouthful!”

Let’s really get into this intimate scene between these two close friends, Jesus and Philip. Beyond questioning and challenging, I would say that Jesus is actually having some fun with Philip. I can see the twinkle in Jesus’ eyes and the expression on Philip’s face. Jesus knows what Philip will think and how he will respond because humanly the request is impossible. “Ha, ha, ha, come on Jesus, that’s a crazy and wild thing to ask.

Of course, it’s not at all possible to feed these people.” Of course we can imagine this response because this is how close friends talk. There may have been even more bantering, that is to say talking in a good-humored and even teasing way. Jesus will do that today with us who are his close friends. Sure and certain.

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ Jesus, do you think the little boy was the only one who had a meal that day? Do you think his meal was the only one available? Now I don’t know about you but if some of you are like me, out and about, I will surely have some treat, a snack or even a meal to sustain me, to tide me over until I get back home. Come on, most women are like this and some men too. Let us remember that this ‘vast crowd’ set out for wherever that day to find and follow Jesus to see the ‘signs He was performing’.

With the help of the Holy Spirit, let us pursue what else could have happened that day. The disciples would have gone out amongst the crowd that day, saying, “The Master wants to know what you have to give and to share.” Can’t we relate to the human thoughts in such a situation, predicament, and demand as this?

Thought One: What I have is just for my family and me alone. I am sorry, I do not have any excess or any to spare.

Thought Two: I wonder what He wants to do with this little I have. It won’t be of any value. I must keep it. So sorry. I have nothing.

Thought Three: I wish I could give but I am so sorry I can’t. Listen, I got this by hard work, perseverance and the sweat of my brow. I’m really sorry but I can’t give this up.

Thought Four: Hmm, what I have is too little to give to the Master. With more time I will have much more and then I will give to Him. He does deserve more than this little I have.

Thought Five: I can’t give what I have.

Thought Six: I have saved this for a rainy day. What happens when that day comes? What will I fall back on? So sorry, I don’t have to give anyway. Thought Seven: Let’s be wise. If I give this, I will have nothing left and, of course, I will starve. We need wisdom for every action we take you know.

Sorry, nothing

Thought Eight: But why would the Master ask me for this when He knows this is all I have. This is not fair. He should be more understanding. I thought He was but it sure doesn’t look like He is. Sorry, nothing.

So, basically, every one of them ended up saying, “Nothing.”

But what about that little boy? Were his thoughts like those of the people we just mentioned? Do you think he would resist Jesus and the disciples commandeering his food? You know, he may have even had that food to sell to people that day.

Knowing how Jesus felt about little children, it is easy for us to see that Jesus would see this ‘young lad’ as an opportunity, once again, to emphasize “…the Kingdom of God belongs to such as these.” Did Jesus say something to him? Maybe, or it might have been simple eye contact. After all, the boy, like everyone else close by, was looking at Jesus and taking in all of this drama.

As the boy’s eyes were fixed on the Master Jesus, what were his thoughts?

I’ve watched Jesus bring joy and happiness and hope to those who were depressed and hopeless. I’ve watched Him heal the sick. I know He’s brought the dead back to life. I know He casts out wicked spirits that possess and torment people. Everywhere He goes, He brings peace, joy, freedom by His words and actions. He speaks like no one ever has. He does things like no one ever has. He is so wonderful. He means so much to me.

Jesus took that little boy’s meal and when it got into the hands of the God who called all things into existence, after giving thanks, that little boy’s meal became an extraordinary meal, feeding thousands; the men in number were 5000, not to mention the number of women and children. And don’t forget the 12 baskets of leftovers!

That very day everyone was blessed including those who did not give, BUT there was only one person that was the blessing, the only one who stood out, the one whose story is heard generation after generation. That Little Boy echoes the Call of Abram as found in Genesis 12:1-3:

“I will make you into a great nation, and I will bless you; I will make your name great and you will be a blessing.”

That Little Boy, O how he speaks to us, how he challenges us. Do we realize the awesomeness of Jesus, just how wonderful He is? What does He really mean to us? Do we seek Him? Do we remain close to Him? Are our eyes fixed on Him? Do we give Him our all? Are we ready “to do whatever He says” like the servants at the Wedding Feast of Cana?

Are His miracles and the possibility of miracles at the forefront of our faith? Are we ready to step out in faith to anticipate and even expect miracles? He says to us, Like Abram, like That Little Boy, like so many heroes of our faith we are called to be both blessed by the Lord and a blessing to others, many others.

Raly Ewemie is a devoted Missionary - with over a decade work experience in different countries across the globe. She’s the brain behind www.reflectinghisbeauty.org, a website that enriches people with Godly values and supports Missionaries in their work for God. She’s based in Abbotsford BC, Canada. E-mail: raly@reflectinghisbeauty.org

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